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R1200ST - Fuel Tank and running out of gas


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Well, it happened to me this weekend. On Saturday I turned off the main highway and the warning came on advising that I had 75 kilometers of fuel in the tank and a roadside said it was 72 km to my destination. I went into fuel saver mode for a good portion of the trip (6th gear 90km/hr on a secondary road) but then I hit a section with newly paved twisty bits and no traffic. The gears went down and the speed went up to the point where the countdown was showing 25 km remaining (and I later found out I was 17 km from my destination) and the bike stutterred and stalled - no gas. And no cell phone service. I was able to get to the first house and call CAA (I've only had the bike a week and don't have the BMW card yet). An hour and 46 minutes later I was back on the road.


On Sunday, with 330 km showing on the trip odometer and 30km showing as remaining I "filled" the tank - it only took 15 litres.


So I have some questions for the R1200ST gurus out there.


I fill the tank to the bottom of metal filling tube visible when I open the tank. Is this correct, or is there tank capacity above that - up to the wide part where the cap fits perhaps?


When I open the fuel tank, there seems to be a significant vacuum - sometimes I worry that I might bend the key. Is that normal?


When I ran out of gas, I could hear some (albeit not much)fuel sloshing in the bottom of the tank when I opened it up. Is it possible that the pickup is not at the bottom of the tank?


Any thoughts, comments, sugggestions you might have will be appreciated. Oh the bike has just over 12,500 km on the clock right now. It was a dealer demo ridden by one of the managers at the dealer for most of the summer.

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Congrats on the new bike.


I've never had the "vacuum" issue before, but I just read tonight in another thread about that. (Apparently there are release tubes than can get crimped. The dealer can fix that.)


The other issues might be answered here .


You can cram a lot more fuel in the tank than you might think if you fill slowly on the center stand. Unless the bike is going to sit for a while before I ride, I fill as full as I can. However, I've never heard of the bike stalling while there was still mileage on the "meter". You can have the dealer adjust that too.

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Welcome to the forum and a great bike! I typically fill mine (on the center stand) to the bottom "lip" of the filler neck; not all the way up to the cap. I have not experienced any of the vacuum issues you describe. Your fuel gage, and "residual range" seems to be VERY accurately calibrated. Mine is definitely more conservative.I have never actually tested the limits of mine (by purposely driving until the tank runs dry) as some have. According to BMW, the tank holds 5.5gal (20.8l). Typically, when I fill up, I generally need 4 to 4.5gal, which would leave me enough petrol to go another 45-50 miles (72-80km). BUT, my residual range suggests much less; around 20-25 miles of fuel remaining. So, my bike is a bit more "Murphy" proof. I have read other posts on this issue here and at BMWMOA.COM if you want to do a little searching. I hear the dealer can adjust this.


Hope this input is of some help. I've found this is a great bike, and easy to maintain myself.


Regards, Lou.

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You shouldn't have a vacuum in your tank. I just had that problem on my 12RT and it was result of pinched breather hose (see the expanding fuel tank thread). Apparently it came happen on the ST as well. I think you should have the dealer look at it because this isn't normal. By the way my fuel gauage went bonkers when the hose got blocked - I went over 225kms and it was still reading full (with the distance to emptyr reading something over 500kms). It should have been approaching the half way point by then. When I opened the gas cap and got the pressure to normally it dropped to almost half like I thought it shoul. If you have pinched hose and the volum of your tank is changing because of the vacuum your fuel guage may not be working properly. My theory is that as the plastic tank gets smaller as the vacuum sucks it in and this keeps the fuel level reading higher than it should.

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No body answered your remaining fuel sloshing in the bottom of the tank yet, so I will... The irregular shape of the BMW tanks makes it impossible to pick up all the fuel in the tank. Especially on the side opposite the fuel pump.

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I had the vaccume problem also. Mine was bad enough that the plastic shell outside the tank would become misaligned. I couldn't figure out why the seams sometimes were off by 1/4 inch in height! Turns out the tank was caving in from the suction. My dealer had to order me a whole new tank.

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No vacum problems with mine. i fill to the over the metal part in the tank. i figure that since i am stopping either to work or to home that whatever fuel thats in the top or is close to the overflow(dont know if it has one) i burn that little bit doing the 25-miles home anyway.


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